On the night of his reelection, President Obama called us to our higher selves as citizens. "America has never been about what can be done for us," he said. "It's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government."
Simply put, each of us can play a role in making our communities and our country stronger. In fact, it is those moments when everyday citizens step up to be part of the solution that America is at its best.
That is why, in the coming days, Americans will join together in service to celebrate the 57th Presidential Inauguration and to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will be an army of good will in communities nationwide -- rolling up our sleeves to refurbish schools and blighted neighborhoods, collect food and deliver meals, help the survivors of Hurricane Sandy rebuild, and more.
The Inauguration National Day of Service on January 19 and the MLK Day of Service on January 21 (led by the Corporation for National and Community Service) will kick start our commitment to get involved in our communities. But our service should not -- cannot -- stop there.
As Americans, we are fortunate that the call to service has had a prominent place in every presidential administration over the last 25 years. President Obama is building on this legacy of "self-government" by reminding us all that we can lend our voices, use our skills, and give our time to make an impact.
Right now in a community near you, an AmeriCorps member or Senior Corps volunteer is doing just that -- giving a student the extra time he needs but that a teacher just doesn't have, delivering a meal that will help keep a senior living independently in her own home, or even providing volunteer management, capacity-building, and other support a local nonprofit can use to make a more meaningful difference on the ground.
As we mark this Weekend of Service, I ask you to consider making volunteering a part of your life year-round. Check out Serve.gov for an opportunity near you.
Service is a way to put citizenship into action. The national service family stands ready to do our part to help build our nation's future.
Will you join us?
Wendy Spencer is CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service the federal agency that engages more than four million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and other programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, visit Serve.gov.